Affect: Psychopower and Eventology

‘Psychopower’ and ‘Eventology’ are two reworked extracts from the succinct genealogy of affect that Bernd Bösel provides in ‘Affect Disposition(ing)’. The article explains how affect is conceptualised by early Western (i.e. Greek) thought as the ‘by-product of being possessed by a god, a demon or another nonhuman’. This ‘demonological’ paradigm of affect involves certain practices of dealing with nonhuman […]

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Genealogy

Genealogies are about ancestors, lineages, progeny and the knowledge they produce. They are historical in the sense that they trace past developments to investigate how ‘things’ have become the way they ‘are’ (or, at least, were at a certain time). In the humanities and social sciences the concept of genealogy is mainly linked to both […]

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Musical Atmospheres

For critical posthumanism, musical atmospheres are a promising field of study. ‘Immersed in sound’, as Frances Dyson argues with reference to the new media of virtual reality, the Internet, and their auditive precursor technologies, ‘the subject loses its self, and, in many ways, loses its sense’ in indeterminate situations that undermine the classical subject-object split […]

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Romantic Self and Posthumanism

The Romantic period develops a particular construction of the self, a self with a privileged interiority. Posthumanist criticism flattens this interiority, pushing our critical attention away from the artist’s expression of internal feelings to material relations between bodies in landscapes.  Such a posthumanist approach follows several threads of posthumanism. It draws from what Object Oriented […]

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Xenotransplantation, Form-of-Life and Literary Fiction

Identity questions over the borders of the human are complicated in novels such as Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), Ninni Holmquist’s The Unit (2006) and Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series (2007–2014), which explore the role of new biology, and new life forms, in future societies.[1] In these texts, the survival of the human depends […]

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Bio art and the end of philosophy (Feuerstein & Hegel)

In his Aesthetics, Hegel declared the end of art. Art is ‘on the side of its highest destiny, a thing of the past’.[1] For Hegel, art satisfied the same spiritual needs as philosophy: to disclose meaning and truth. Art revealed meaning and truth within the world of appearances by creating sensuous existents, rather than elevating thought […]

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High-Tech Orientalism (Cyberpunk & Race)

‘The human is constantly created through the jettisoning of the Asian/Asian American other as robotic, as machine-like and not quite human […]’. These words, lifted from the extract of Wendy Hui Kyong Chun’s essay ‘Race and/as Technology or How to Do Things to Race’ below, point to the habitually unexamined racialised and colonial structures of […]

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Technological and Posthuman Zones

Modern technology seems always to have been judged according to its utility for human beings.  To the extent that technologies have been viewed as tools, instruments, or prostheses for human use, and thus under human control, they have largely been seen in positive, utopian terms. When technologies have, on the other hand, been seen as […]

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